Sin City: A Dame To Kill For consists of 4 stories. Each story describes why each character feels the way he/she feels and draws up a stunning conclusion by showing the connection between them all. We start off with Marv, who is reprised by Mickey Rourke. Bold, mysterious and grizzled…he reminisces of what it was like to be born and brought up in the projects of Sin City. Awakening along the roadside sharing the company of a few dead guys, his story becomes one of flashback with explanation of how he got there and why those guys are dead. The story concludes by Marv killing two punks who stir trouble in the night.
The second story tells the tale of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character named Johnny. For me personally, this story is the best simply because of Levitt’s outstanding yet dark performance. He’s a gambler, and a degenerate one at that! He has one mission: take out the ruthless Senator Roark by beating him at his own game of poker. Before playing, he meets a stripper who goes by the name of Marcy. She quickly takes a liking to him. As he wins against Roark, it is soon proven to be a terrible mistake. Johnny is beaten to a bloody pulp and thrown out of a car onto the wet, dark streets of Sin City. We see Johnny later in the film for a take on revenge.
Enter Josh Brolin who plays Dwight McCarthy, who is confronted by his ex-lover Ava Lord. Under the impression that he is helping her flee from her husband who treats her like dirt, the truth begins to unfold as Dwight soon learns that Ava wants him dead. Between battling Manute, a powerful bodyguard played by Dennis Haysbert (who took over the role from the late Michael Clark Duncan, and wound up delivering a powerful performance by delivering subtle dialogue and letting his power do the acting for him) Dwight must endure much pain and violence before sealing Lord’s fate.
Now we’re back to Johnny. Recovering from the sinister beating he took, he challenges Senator Roark once again to a game of poker…this time with much more at stake. Proving he can beat even the biggest odds, Johnny once again claims victory. Gordon-Levitt gives the character of Johnny much heart and made me really feel for him. That says a lot when your entire cast goes through hell.
The film is concluded with Nancy Callahan who is portrayed by Jessica Alba. Callahan is an exotic dancer who is haunted by the suicide of John Hartigan (Bruce Willis plays him as a cameo in the film.) Driven mad and eventually out for blood, Callahan teams up with Marv and storms Roark’s mansion since it is later revealed that he is to blame for John’s suicide. Marv is left wounded on the upper staircase after a brutal gunfight with the security of the mansion, clearing the way for Callahan. She faces off with Roark but is quickly wounded as she is shot in the leg. As Roark is ready to put an end to her, he quickly sees an image of Hartigan in a nearby mirror and is distraught for a moment. This leaves enough time for Callahan to retrieve her gun and kill Roark.
In conclusion, the film is simply spectacular. Between the classic black and white paced vision we get, as is depicted in the Sin City graphic novels…with small hints of color in between, tremendous performances by an all-star cast and amazing action sequences backed up with brilliantly written dialogue…..the film doesn’t just hold up as a sequel, it stands on its own as a co-directed Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller majestic piece of cinema.
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